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Authorities raid blogger's house, detain him for over 24 hours

(BCHR/IFEX) - 9 November 2011 - The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses its deep concern over the arrest and detention of poet, media professional and blogger Jaafar AlAlawy, 27, a move that reflects the authorities' continuing campaign targeting media professionals and the country's non-compliance with international treaties which it signed to respect freedoms, especially freedom of expression.

According to information received by BCHR, AlAlawy's house in the village of Buri was cordoned off by security forces on the morning of 8 November, after a number of children sought by security forces took refuge in the house. Security forces raided the house and summoned AlAlawy for questioning at the police station at the first roundabout in Hamad Town. He later called his family from the Qalaah detention center at the Ministry of the Interior's headquarters in Manama to tell them that he was being detained pending investigation.

AlAlawy worked for the Bahrain Radio and Television Corporation under the Information Affairs Authority of Bahrain before being dismissed from his job in a recent wave of unfair dismissals targeting thousands of workers whose political and religious affiliations have been called into question by authorities. He is a cultural journalist and editor who worked for a number of local newspapers, is a published, non-political poet, a leader of the Ministry of Culture's youth cultural program "Taa AlShabab", and a blogger. He also tweets under the handle @jaffaralalawy, where he often publishes lines from his poems as well as personal thoughts.

AlAlawy was released on the evening of 9 November, after spending over 24 hours in detention. It is still unclear why he was held or whether there will be official charges or compensation for the damage caused to him.

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